A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that adults participate in face-to-face learning more frequently than internet learning. John Horrigan, lead researcher, shared in an NPR interview, “Learning is still very much a place-based thing. The internet plays a role but it is secondary in most respects.”
While this preference differs based on a variety of demographics, it is still an important finding for those in talent development fields. Online courses have increased dramatically over the last decade, with most of us designing a variety of webinars, courses and on-your-own learning programs. So why do learners still seek out face-to-face or place-based experiences?
At a recent seminar I asked a man in his late-50s about his reasons for attending rather than seeking out an online course. He responded, “I like the networking opportunities, plus I am less distracted when I am away from my office. And of course, it’s a plus to be able to interact with the presenter and ask questions.” This common response can and should guide design elements of professional learning classes. Here are two questions I am adding to my checklist:
Does my course design allow time for participants to network with and learn from each other?
Does my course design and my behavior as a facilitator allow for participants to interact with me? Get answers to their questions?
Check out the entire Pew Research study here.
For more ideas related to designing and conduction professional learning, read my book “Caffeinated Learning” available from Amazon and iBooks.
I was in the Scouts as a child and firmly upheld the “Be Prepared” motto. My internal clock is set to arrive at everything early, my calendar is filled with checked-off lists, and my bags are always packed with extras. As a consultant and public speaker, traveling with technology is a must, so I have several back up plans in case of unexpected trouble. For several years I have been carrying spare power cords with me for my laptop and iPad. Because every ounce and inch counts in my carry-on, I have occasionally considered leaving the back-up cords behind.
This week, it finally happened. I was in a client meeting and pulled out my laptop to show some work related photos. My battery was very low - I had been using my laptop all day as we traveled from site to site – so I plugged in my power cord. No juice. Not even a glimmer, a jolt, a smidge of extra boost. Then it hit me! I had a spare cord! I pulled it out, plugged it in and was back in business with barely a hiccup.
Deciding what to pack and what to leave behind is not easy. These seven questions can guide even the most seasoned presenter in making decisions.
For more tips on how to be successful as a public speaker, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.
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Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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